11 minute read  written by  . Published on February 23, 2015

There have been many exciting findings in physics the past several years. There has been confirmation of important new sub-atomic particles, such as the Higgs Boson, advances in the building blocks of quantum computing, promising research in energy production (batteries, photovoltaic, nuclear fusion). And let’s not forget the reboot of the Cosmos documentary series, with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

With the growth of Massively Open Online Courses (‘MOOCs’), there has never been more access to high quality content to learn physics. So take a look at the list below, and whatever your interest in physics, whether it be an introduction to physics, electricity, or Einstein’s theory of relativity, dive in and increase your understanding of the basic building blocks of the world around us.

Note: To understand how these courses work, do read our FAQ. Unfortunately not all of these courses are available now. Add a course to MOOC Tracker and we will notify you when a course becomes available. 

Beginning Physics

Understanding Einstein: The Special Theory of Relativity
Stanford University via Coursera
This course offers you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the life and work of the young Albert Einstein and especially his mind-bending special theory of relativity.
Go To Class | 4.5 (6 ratings) | Next Session : 11th Dec, 2017

How Things Work: An Introduction to Physics
University of Virginia via Coursera
Designed for non-science students, this course is a practical introduction to physics and science in everyday life. It considers objects from the world around us, identifying and exploring the scientific concepts upon which they’re based.
Go To Class | 4.5 (6 ratings) | Next Session :18th Dec, 2017

Introduction to Physics
via Udacity
This unique class gives you the chance to see the sites where physics history was made and learn some of the subject’s most captivating concepts.
Go To Class | 5 (2 ratings) | Next Session : Self paced

 

 

Basic Physics
Swinburne University of Technology via Open2Study
Learn some basic principles of physics that help you understand how the world around you works.
Go To Class | 2.5 (3 ratings) | Next Session : 19th Nov, 2017

SNU034.005.1x: Introductory Physics — Part 1: Mechanics and Waves
Seoul National University via edX
Grasp physics from everyday experience. This course covers the basics of Newtonian mechanics, including oscillations and wave phenomena.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

Mechanics & Motion

Mechanics: Motion, Forces, Energy and Gravity, from Particles to Planets
University of New South Wales via Coursera
Mechanics is the basis of much of physics, engineering and other technological disciplines. It begins by quantifying motion, and then explaining it in terms of forces, energy, momentum. T
Go To Class | Next Session : 18th Dec, 2017

8.MReVx: Mechanics ReView
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
Mechanics ReView is an MIT-level introductory mechanics class emphasizing a strategic problem-solving approach.
Go To Class | 5 (1 rating) | Next Session : Self paced

PHYS024.1x: How Stuff Moves, Part 1: Linear Motion
Harvey Mudd College via edX
A Calculus-based introduction to Newtonian mechanics that emphasizes problem-solving.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

PHYS024.2x: How Stuff Moves, Part 2: Angular Motion
Harvey Mudd College via edX
A Calculus-based introduction to Newtonian mechanics that emphasizes problem-solving.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

PHYS024.3x: How Stuff Moves, Part 3: Wave Motion
Harvey Mudd College via edX
Mechanics ReView is an MIT-level introductory mechanics class emphasizing a strategic problem-solving approach.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

8.MechCx: Advanced Introductory Classical Mechanics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
This is a college-level Introductory Newtonian Mechanics course that covers all of the topics and learning objectives specified in the College Board Course Description for Advanced Placement®Physics C (Mechanics) course.
Go To Class | Next Session : 7th Jan, 2016

Electricity

3.15x: Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Materials and Devices
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
In 3.15x we will explore the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of materials and learn how electronic devices are designed to exploit these properties.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

PHYS102.1x: Electricity & Magnetism, Part 1
Rice University via edX
PHYS 102.1x serves as an introduction to charge, the electric field, the electric potential, current, resistance, and DC circuits with resistors and capacitors.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

PHYS102.2x: Electricity & Magnetism, Part 2
Rice University via edX
PHYS 102.2x serves as an introduction to the magnetic field, how it is created by currents and magnetic materials, induction and inductors, and AC circuits.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

Thermodynamics

Introduction to Thermodynamics: Transferring Energy from Here to There
University of Michigan via Coursera
In this course, you will learn how to characterize the energy state of a system and the mechanisms for transferring energy from one system to another. These are the tools necessary to understand stationary and transportation power systems from small scale, like batteries, to large scale, like nuclear power plants.
Go To Class | 3.5 (2 ratings) | Next Session : 25th Dec, 2017

Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics
University of Minnesota via Coursera
This introductory physical chemistry course examines the connections between molecular properties and the behavior of macroscopic chemical systems.
Go To Class | 3 (2 ratings) | Next Session : 18th Dec, 2017

ME209x: Thermodynamics
IIT(Indian Institute of Technology Bombay) via edX
This introductory physical chemistry course examines the connections between molecular properties and the behavior of macroscopic chemical systems.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

Quantum Physics

The Discovery of the Higgs Boson
University of Edinburgh via FutureLearn
Should we be excited about the Higgs boson? Find out more about particle physics and understanding the universe.
Go To Class | 5 (1 rating) | Next Session : 5th Feb, 2018

QMSE01: Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
This course aims to teach quantum mechanics to anyone with a reasonable college-level understanding of physical science or engineering.
Go To Class | 5 (1 rating) | Next Session : 3rd Oct, 2017

Exploring Quantum Physics
University of Maryland, College Park via Coursera
An introduction to quantum physics with emphasis on topics at the frontiers of research, and developing understanding through exercise.
Go To Class | 3 (1 rating) | Next Session : 30th Mar, 2015

8.05x: Mastering Quantum Mechanics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX
A course that develops the tools and the mathematical foundation needed to have a working knowledge of Quantum Mechanics.
Go To Class | Next Session : 14th May, 2015

QMSE-02: Quantum Mechanics for Scientists and Engineers 2
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
This course covers key topics in the use of quantum mechanics in many modern applications in science and technology, introduces core advanced concepts such as spin, identical particles, the quantum mechanics of light, the basics of quantum information, and the interpretation of quantum mechanics, and covers the major ways in which quantum mechanics is written and used in modern practice.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

TOPOCMx: Topology in Condensed Matter: Tying Quantum Knots
Delft University of Technology via edX
Get a simple and hands-on overview of topological insulators, Majoranas, and other topological phenomen
Go To Class | Next Session : Self paced

Astrophysics

Introduction into General Theory of Relativity
The University of Tokyo via Coursera
The goal of the course is to introduce you into this theory. The introduction is based on the consideration of many practical generic examples in various scopes of the General Relativity. After the completion of the course you will be able to solve basic standard problems of this theory.
Go To Class | Next Session : 25th Dec, 2017

From the Big Bang to Dark Energy
The University of Tokyo via Coursera
This course will cover various topics on the discoveries about how the Universe evolved in 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang.
Go To Class | 4.5 (7 ratings) | Next Session : 11th Dec, 2017

Dark Matter in Galaxies: The Last Mystery
via iversity
There is something out there in space, something invisible we have a hard time to understand. But we can be certain of one thing: It played a major role in the formation of our and any other galaxy!
Go To Class | Next Session : 15th Oct, 2013

ANU-ASTRO3x: The Violent Universe
Australian National University via edX
Exploring the deadliest places in the universe, from black holes to supernovae.
Go To Class | Next Session : Self Paced

ASTRO2290x: Relativity and Astrophysics
Cornell University via edX
Explore the powerful and intriguing connections between astronomy and Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Go To Class | 3.5 (5 ratings) | Next Session : Self paced

OpenCourseWare Physics courses

OpenCourseWare courses are recordings of in-class lectures put online. While the courses mentioned above (MOOCs), are designed for an online audience and have feedback of sort via assignments, homeworks, exams, etc.

MIT

Physics I
Physics I is a first-year physics course which introduces students to classical mechanics. Topics include: space and time; straight-line kinematics; motion in a plane; forces and equilibrium; experimental basis of Newton’s laws; particle dynamics; universal gravitation; collisions and conservation laws; work and potential energy; vibrational motion; conservative forces; inertial forces and non-inertial frames; central force motions; rigid bodies and rotational dynamics.

Physics Of Energy
The course is designed for MIT sophomores, juniors, and seniors who want to understand the fundamental laws and physical processes that govern the sources, extraction, transmission, storage, degradation, and end uses of energy.

Physics II: Electricity & Magnetism
This freshman-level course is the second semester of introductory physics. The focus is on electricity and magnetism. The subject is taught using the TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) format which utilizes small group interaction and current technology. The TEAL/Studio Project at MIT is a new approach to physics education designed to help students develop much better intuition about, and conceptual models of, physical phenomena.

Quantum Physics I
This course covers the experimental basis of quantum physics. It introduces wave mechanics, Schrödinger’s equation in a single dimension, and Schrödinger’s equation in three dimensions.
It is the first course in the undergraduate Quantum Physics sequence, followed by 8.05 Quantum Physics II and 8.06 Quantum Physics III.

String Theory
This is a one-semester class about gauge/gravity duality (often called AdS/CFT) and its applications.

Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity & Astrophysics
Study of physical effects in the vicinity of a black hole as a basis for understanding general relativity, astrophysics, and elements of cosmology. Extension to current developments in theory and observation. Energy and momentum in flat spacetime; the metric; curvature of spacetime near rotating and nonrotating centers of attraction; trajectories and orbits of particles and light; elementary models of the Cosmos. Weekly meetings include an evening seminar and recitation. The last third of the semester is reserved for collaborative research projects on topics such as the Global Positioning System, solar system tests of relativity, descending into a black hole, gravitational lensing, gravitational waves, Gravity Probe B, and more advanced models of the Cosmos.

Yale

Fundamentals of Physics I
This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.

Fundamentals of Physics II
This is a continuation of Fundamentals of Physics, I (PHYS 200), the introductory course on the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. This course covers electricity, magnetism, optics and quantum mechanics.

UC Irvine

Einstein’s General Relativity & Gravitation
This course is listed as Physics 255: General Relativity in the UCI course catalogue. An introduction to Einstein’s theory of gravitation. Tensor analysis, Einstein’s field equations, astronomical tests of Einstein’s theory, gravitational waves.

Classical Physics
This course will show you how to apply simple physics models to the motion of objects. UCI Physics 7C covers the following topics: force, energy, momentum, rotation, and gravity.

Open.Michigan

Lectures on Continuum Physics
The idea for these Lectures on Continuum Physics grew out of a short series of talks on materials physics at University of Michigan, in the summer of 2013. Those talks were aimed at advanced graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and faculty colleagues. From this group the suggestion emerged that a somewhat complete set of lectures on continuum aspects of materials physics would be useful. The lectures that you are about to dive into were recorded over a six-week period at the University. Given their origin, they are meant to be early steps on a path of research in continuum physics for the entrant to this area, and I daresay a second opinion for the more seasoned exponent of the science. The potential use of this series as an enabler of more widespread research in continuum physics is as compelling a motivation for me to record and offer it, as is its potential as an open online class.

Introduction to Finite Element Methods
The development itself focuses on the classical forms of partial differential equations (PDEs): elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic. At each stage, however, we make numerous connections to the physical phenomena represented by the PDEs. For clarity we begin with elliptic PDEs in one dimension (linearized elasticity, steady state heat conduction and mass diffusion). We then move on to three dimensional elliptic PDEs in scalar unknowns (heat conduction and mass diffusion), before ending the treatment of elliptic PDEs with three dimensional problems in vector unknowns (linearized elasticity). Parabolic PDEs in three dimensions come next (unsteady heat conduction and mass diffusion), and the lectures end with hyperbolic PDEs in three dimensions (linear elastodynamics). Interspersed among the lectures are responses to questions that arose from a small group of graduate students and post-doctoral scholars who followed the lectures live. At suitable points in the lectures, we interrupt the mathematical development to lay out the code framework, which is entirely open source, and C++ based.